The Sheffield Telegraph will launch a schools mental health charter today as part of our Let’s Talk campaign, through which we hope to create awareness, reduce stigma and highlight some of the brilliant work already being carried out in the city’s schools.
According to charity Young Minds, one in 10 children, so roughly three children in every classroom, have a diagnosable mental health condition, and half of mental health problems manifest themselves by the age of 14.
And while the issue of mental health difficulties in adults, something that affects 25 per cent of the population, is finally being brought to the fore, the same sadly cannot be said for awareness of the issue among children and young people.
With that in mind, The Sheffield Telegraph has spent the last eight months consulting with young people, schools and multiple organisations to create a mental health charter we hope every school in the city will sign up to.
The charter, which you can view below, will be launched today at a special event, during which The Telegraph will thank everyone who has worked with us on the charter.
Buy The Telegraph next Thursday (November 22) for a full report on the launch event, and for details of all of the schools who have signed up to it so far.
Let's Talk Sheffield: Schools mental health charter
– Stamp out stigma
Start talking about mental health. Encourage staff and pupils to talk openly and honestly and ensure that young people are given the opportunity to talk
– Educate don't discriminate
Try and put mental health on the curriculum and train school staff so children can be supported, not discriminated against or labelled
– Time to listen
Provide a safe environment for children to go to to speak about their issues if they wish. This could be a teacher, a dedicated email address, a peer mental health ambassador or a worry box
– Increase support
Help young people alleviate some of the educational pressures they face. Increase support available at critical times such as exams and school or key stage transitions
– Next Move
Help to signpost some of the services available in Sheffield, and within the school's locality and offer support to help pupils access them
Create an open and inclusive culture which displays respect and understanding for those with mental health problems
– Words of Wisdom
Educate the school community about language which stigmatises mental health issues, and those suffering from them
Reach out to parents about the prevalence of mental health problems among young people, and work together to guide and care for those affected by them